Friday 28 June 2013

Missing Index: KV-6

Everyone knows the KV-1 and KV-2, and I have previously written about KVs 3 through 5, as well as KV-7. But where is the KV-6? Wikipedia will tell you that it was an experimental tank with a flamethrower in the hull. Let's see what the archives have to say about this.  According to CAMD RF 38-11355-958:

"June 1941 [Date was recorded with a pencil and has since worn off]

On the production of tanks at the Chelyabinsk Tractor Factory in 1941, the Committee of Defense has decided:
  1. The People's Commissar of Medium Machinery (comrade Malyshev), and the Chelyabinsk Tractor Factory (comrade Shor) must, starting with January 1st, 1942, produce KV-1 tanks with 90 mm of armour, according to the requirements in attachment 1, indexed KV-6.
  2. NKTM (comrade Kazakov) and the Kirov factory (comrade Zaltsmann) must restore the tank with 90 mm of armour and a 76 mm model 1940 gun (created according to Order #1288-495), and, with three sets of blueprints, send it to ChTZ.
  3. ChTZ and NKSM must send a group of engineers and technologists to the Kirov factory to establish details of production and acceptance of the KV-6 blueprints.
  4. Allow ChTZ and People's Commissar of Medium Machinery to
    1. Begin producing KV-6 tanks in 1941, as a part of their annual quota.
    2. Independently develop KV-1 and KV-6 blueprints.
    3. Install cast or stamped turrets with the same turret ring as the KV-1 and KV-2.
    4. Conduct experimental developments of tank mechanisms.
  5. Allow NKSP (comrade Nosenko), HKB (comrade Goremykin) and factory #78 (comrade Yermolayev) to produce KV-6 hulls and turrets as a part of their 1941 tank production quota.
  6. In order to create a mobilization reserve for KV-6 tanks, NKTM (comrade Kazakov) and Kirov factory (comrade Zaltsmann) must ready blueprints, instruments, equipment, and instruments for producing the KV-6.
  7. The NKB (comrade Goremykin) must, working with NKEP, within a month, deliver a proposal for equipping factory #78 with equipment for hardening armour with high frequency electrical current."
90 mm of armour, with the implication that it wil be surface hardened. Nothing about a flamethrower. Now, 'let's look at CAMD 38-1135-67:

  1. Receive, by April 1st 1941, dimensional blueprints of a flamethrower installation on the KV-1 and KV-3 at the Izhor factory, and determine where they can be installed.
  2. When developing a flamethrower, factory #174 must keep the following in mind:
    1. The flamethrower must not impact the driver's visibility to the side.
    2. The flamethrower must be equivalently armoured to the front plate (75 mm on the KV-1, 90 mm on the KV-3).
    3. The driver will control the flamethrower. Due to this, the controls must be simple and easy.
    4. The magazine must be horizontal, and removable.
    5. The dimensions of the flamethrower, and its location, must match the attached sketch."
Sketch of a flamethrower on the KV-1. CAMD RF 38-11355-67

Blueprints of a flamethrower on the KV-3. CAMD RF 38-11355-344

Flamethrowers for the KV-1 and KV-3...but where is the KV-6? It's possible that it was renamed sometimes later, but CAMD RF 38-11355-36 dashes those hopes. The document, a list of shipments to the Leningrad front, from September of 1941, lists "KV-1 with a flamethrower mounted and the V-2K engine, #5156, #5157, #5158, plus one flamethrower mount for repairs." Again, not a KV-6, despite the KV-6 index having been established in June.


  1. Maybe this became the Kv-8 ?

    1. No, the KV-8 was a different tank. The flamethrower was in the turret, not the hull, and the gun had to be reduced to 45 mm.

    2. I am no expert but is it not a possibility that the intended KV-6 layout was not possible and a workable layout was found with the Kv-8 ?

      In my mind at least the KV-8 would not have been necessary had the KV-6 been successful.

    3. The KV-6 has nothing to do with the KV-8. The KV-8 was a flamethrower tank, with 75 mm of armour, and a 45 mm gun. The KV-6 was a regular tank, with 90 mm of armour and a 76 mm gun.

  2. oops your right i completely overlooked the bit about mounting the flamethrower in a KV1 and KV3 hull and not the KV-6 this should teach me not to post while drunk (nah who am i kidding)

    But googling led me to these links unfortunately i dont know russian so if its rubbish or not i cant tell.
    Nice photo's though. <- an SPG ?

  3. The book "Těžké tanky" ("Heavy tanks") by I. Pejčoch states the KV-6 to be a turretless tank nearly identical to the KV-7, but armed with one 76.2 mm ZiS-5 and two 45 mm model 1938 guns.
    The book says it was made at the end of 1941, but the report you translated is from June and clearly says the KV-6 was to have a turret.
    Is it possible that the vehicle Pejčoch mentions is:
    a) the evolution of the KV-6 project
    b) different KV-6 project
    c) just another variant of the KV-7, and the KV-6 designation is Pejčochs mistake?

    Atomic Emu

    1. There were two KV-7s: one with two 76 mm guns, and one with 2 45 mm guns and one 76 mm gun. I have never seen either of those be called "KV-6".

  4. Thanks a lot for the articles. These are true evening saviors with interesting information :D Blog bookmarked like FTR.

    With best regards Judqment8

  5. KV-6: KV with 90 mm armor and 76mm gun model 1940

    Sounds like the T-150
    -Frontal armor 90mm
    -Gun is 76mm F-32 (76mm model 1940 would be F-34?)
    -Was made in Nov. 4 1940

    It might have been re-designated to KV-6 since it's going to be in production.
    Also, The document said "restore the tank with 90 mm of armour and a 76 mm model 1940 gun ", which means the blueprint already existed and is not a new tank.


  6. There are photo's on of the german 58th infanterie division that had one of these tanks in service, they have some good close ups of the hull mounted flamethrower.